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Eastern National 2023 Annual Awards

Apr 24, 2024

Eastern National’s Annual Awards highlight excellence in performance and partnership. The awards program was designed to acknowledge outstanding Individual contributions that have had a positive impact on an Eastern National operation or individual park, thus furthering and promoting EN’s unique relationship with its partners.

FY 2023 Superior Performance Award Winners

The Superior Performance Award recognizes outstand- ing partner support of an Eastern National agency. They are awarded annually to the top four outstanding partner personnel, regardless of agency size. The 2023 Superior Performance Awards were presented to:

Tuan “Steve” Phan, Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Visitor Services at Camp Nelson NM. In January of 2023, EN opened a new retail location at Camp Nelson National Monument. At the start of the planning process, Steve productively communicated and collaborated with EN, which allowed for the prompt completion of the store. He also worked with EN on a signature logo for the site’s core product assortment and helped with the overall design of the location to ensure correct historical and education- al representation within Camp Nelson. Steve’s essential and countless contributions exemplify the excellent collaborative partnership the NPS and EN share.

Christiana Admiral, Interpretation, Education, and Community Partnerships Manager for South Atlantic Gulf Region. Building on prior discussions with Christiana, EN hoped to collaborate and get a universal review and approval for a curated assortment of Juneteenth products in stores. For the 2023 holiday, EN sourced products from Black artists and businesses that depict Juneteenth art and storytell- ing. Christiana responded at once and formed a group of subject matter experts, who unanimously approved of the whole collection. Christiana’s teamwork, follow-up, and efficient communication allowed for a multi-park, multi-region thematic approach to product reviews that will serve as a model for the future.

Rainey McKenna, Visitor Experience and Resource Stewardship Program Manager at Marsh-Billings- Rockefeller NHP and Saint-Gaudens NHP. Rainey spent countless hours on calls with Regional Manager, Lee Pettey as they worked to provide a locally sourced product assortment for both Marsh-Billings- Rockefeller and Saint-Gaudens National Historical Parks. Through Rainey’s support, collaboration, and willingness to try a multitude of new things, both park stores received new art and jewelry from current and past NPS artists-in-residence and books and products relative to each location. Each park’s store crushed sales records in 2023—Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller saw an increase of 22% over the prior year with $48,312 in sales, and Saint-Gaudens received an additional 6.6% with $35,306. Rainey’s open mindedness and genuine passion for interpretation not only increased sales volume but elevated EN’s commitment to the level of mission-based content we offer to visitors.

Kim Coons, Chief of Interpretation and Resource Education at Chickamauga- Chattanooga NMP. This past September, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Memorial Park commemorated the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga under the incredible guidance of Kim, who made sure EN was both up to date in the planning and a key part of the event’s agenda. Multiple authors spoke during the commemoration, as Kim oversaw the weekend’s living history programs and other such offerings to further the park’s commitment to visitors. Throughout 2023, Kim also supported both the park’s EN store and the regional management team in the development of new products. With these items, and the dedication of Kim and the team, Chickamauga-Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain reached record sales of $463k—a 12% increase over the prior year!

FY 2023 Charles S. Marshall Unit Award

The Charles S. Marshall Unit Award recognizes the most outstanding agency that has achieved notewor- thy teamwork in promoting and aiding the historical, scientific, educational, interpretive, and operational activities of our partners through EN agency operation. A multi-year collaboration between NPS & EN during the renovation of Antietam National Battlefield’s visitor center has resulted in a spectacular visitor experience and soaring sales performance since opening during FY2023. As such, EN is proud to announce Antietam National Battlefield as the recipient of the Charles S. Marshall Unit Award for FY2023.

FY 2023 Special Achievement Awards

Special Achievement Awards recognize exceptional performance in store operations and partner relations. Awards were presented to the following EN employees for FY2023:

Cindy Piccolo, Coastal Southeast Regional Manager, Bucky Monreal, Southeast Assistant Regional Manager, and Juli Clark, Project Coordinator (Belonging Leadership Team).

Cindy Piccolo, for dedication in creating a welcoming environment for all at EN, extensive collaboration with People Rocket, and spearheading the inaugural “Belonging Committee.”

Bucky Monreal, for building a cohesive and supportive team at Hot Spring NP, overseeing other sites and EN’s Belonging Philosophy, and leading trainings on regional calls.

Juli Clark, for being a valuable member of the Belonging Leadership Team as Project Coordinator, collaborating and communicating with People Rocket, and ensuring that EN is a welcoming and inclusive workplace for all.

Heidi Hunter, CFO, and Andrea Singmaster, HR & Employee Benefits Administrator, (Strategic Priority: Stabilize), for actively working together to close out a legacy finance plan, providing exceptional customer service, and creating further financial stability for Eastern National.

Shanon Harman, Store Manager at Fort Pulaski National Memorial, for facilitation of a great working relationship with park staff through effective communication and hands-on approaches to foster a collaborative and positive work environment.

Liz Giles, Store Manager at Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and Ninety-Six National Historic, for creative merchandising, increased store sales, and improvement of visitor expe- rience through active participation in program planning and execution.

Kris Stitt, Site Manager for Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, for substantial work in commemoration and event planning, being mindful of the park’s tribal partners through significant interpretive efforts, and supporting the park in its application and later accep- tance as a World Hertiage Site.

Deanne Collie, Store Manager at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Memorial Park, for collaborating with park staff on new, inclusive products, the creation of displays that highlight recent research, and leading by example with professionalism and kindness.

Philene Paris, Metro New York Regional, for stabilizing operations while exploring new opportunities, success with workforce planning and staff development, and influential collaboration and communication with future store offerings and openings.

Angie Rolon, Store Manager at San Juan National Historical Site, for mentoring and supporting team members at all levels, contributing to a positive work- place culture within EN, and going beyond to ensure positive and memorable visitor experiences and offerings.

FY 2023 Distinguished Service Awards

Distinguished Service Awards recognize significant active service at a high level of excellence that has resulted in substantial contributions to EN. A Distinguished Service Award was presented to:

Karen Searle, Blue Ridge Parkway Regional Manager, retired from Eastern National after 39 years of service. Karen began her career as a seasonal sales associate
in 1984 and held many positions at both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Independence National Historical Park. She was recognized with the Eastern National Distinguished Service Award at a retirement luncheon held at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.